Toyota Mirai becomes first fuel cell car in Hawaii
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It’s arrival on the Big Island represents the first H2 powered vehicle with hopes of more to come.
The first fuel cell car in Hawaii has arrived in the form of a 2017 Toyota Mirai, which was delivered to the Big Island. Officials in the state hope that this will be only the first of many hydrogen-powered vehicles to make their way to the state in coming months and years.
The Toyota Mirai arrived at the Puu Waawaa energy ranch, a renewable energy systems laboratory.
The fuel cell car headed to Hawaii’s Puu Waawaa energy ranch, which is a lab off the grid that tests and develops renewable energy systems. It has officially become the first fuel cell car in the state. In fact, due to delays in the delivery of other hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in the state, it is the first of all H2-powered transportation in Hawaii at the moment. The Big Island county government’s Hele-On bus fleet is planned and will be powered by H2, but is slightly behind schedule in its roll-out.
“Mirai means future endeavors,” said Blue Planet Research chief technology officer and director Paul Ponthieux. “The hydrogen we make from our excess solar power is what’s fueling this car right now. You can’t get any greener than this.”
The hydrogen fuel cell car was purchased privately and was delivered directly to H2 Energy.
The Toyota Mirai was purchased privately and was sent to the H2 Energy sustainable energy developer. The FCV will be used for the promotion of a hydrogen infrastructure on the Big Island and will be shown at events and demonstrations. According to Ponthieux, there is a wrap currently being designed for the vehicle, which will explain that it is powered by hydrogen and will not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
The efforts to roll forward with FCVs have been struggling in the county. The National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority produces H2 supplied to a fueling station installed in Kailua-Kona.
Equipment funding was provided by grants the US Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research and the state’s own hydrogen fund provided more than five years ago. However, the buses have yet to arrive. Still, interim Transit Administrator John Andoh says that “They’re getting close.” That said, the delay has made the Mirai Hawaii’s first fuel cell car.